SUN CITY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - One of the victims hurt in a shooting spree last week in the West Valley is recovering at home after being hit in the head with shrapnel. Justin Gamaza was on a lunch break when someone fired at him, according to Gamaza’s employer. Charlie Johnson, the owner of Desert ATVs in Sun City, says his lead technician is having trouble talking because of swelling.
“I think physically, he’s improving,” says Johnson. “It’s going to be a long road, but also the mental component of the trauma he’s been through is going to be something he’s going to struggle with.”
The 29-year-old is one of a dozen people injured in the shootings last week. Victims suffered injuries from shattered glass and shrapnel and some were shot. David Liebler did not survive after he was shot while driving his truck on Loop 101 in Peoria.
According to Peoria police, out of the 13 victims injured in the shooting incidents, 4 people were struck by a bullet.
Accused gunman 19-year-old Ashin Tricarico has another court hearing on Thursday. Court records say he believed people were following him.
Johnson says he checks in with Gamaza daily. It’s unclear how long it will take him to recover from the horrific experience. “I think that’s the psychological trauma from it. It was so random. That’s how it feels to him,” says Johnson. “He could have left five minutes earlier. He could have left five minutes later. He could have taken a different route.”
Johnson says Gamaza is resilient, and he has a lot of friends pulling for him. “He’s probably one of the friendliest people I know. He’s incredibly intelligent,” says Johnson. “I’m just really struck by him so when this happened to him, I felt I really need to come alongside him. Sometimes we all need that.”
Johnson has started a GoFundMe to help Gamaza financially since he is unable to work right now. To contribute, click/tap here.